The Bald Soprano
by Eugene Ionesco
The Bald Soprano Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Donald M. Allen's translation.
Fire Chief: "all this is very subjective…but this is my conception of the world. My world. My dream." (466)
As we discuss in "Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd," the Fire Chief could be seen as expressing a pretty Absurdist view of reality right now. You could interpret this line as meaning that the Fire Chief thinks that reality itself is subjective, meaning that it's "subject" to the viewpoint of each individual. Basically, whatever you think is real is real.
Mrs. Martin: "I can buy a pocketknife for my brother, but you can't buy Ireland for your grandfather."
Mr. Smith: "One walks on his feet, but one heats with electricity or coal." (477-478)
Reality really starts coming apart at the seams by the end of the play. Before, there was at least some semblance of "realistic" interactions. Sure it was really weird before too, but at least the characters would say things to each other and reply with comments that almost made sense. Now, though, the characters only spout a lot of nonsense. It seems that communication and reality itself is swiftly breaking down.
All Together: "It's not that way, it's over here, it's not that way, it's over here, it's not that way, it's over here, it's not that way, it's over here!" (564)
In the play's last lines, we see that reality has totally degenerated. The characters just scream these lines over and over again in the dark. What do you think the "it" is that they're talking about? Could it possibly be reality itself? If so, then you could see this moment as representing the Absurdist view of the human condition. In a way, we're all desperately trying to come to grips with reality amidst a great unknowable darkness.